Vike Wrestlers Win Conference Meet
The Union Pines wrestling team returned home after a busy holiday schedule to the friendly confines of Bob Ward Gymnasium, which was full of enthusiastic fans Wednesday evening.
The Vikes proceeded to delight the sizable crowd, turning in a dominant display to defeat Western Harnett 52-22 in Cape Fear Valley Conference dual meet action.
With the decisive win, Union Pines is now 8-0 on the season and 4-0 in the CFVC regular season dual standings.
Head coach Matt Ragsdale described the event, which was both Middle School Night and Alumni Night at Union Pines, as “a very special day for the Viking wrestling family.”
“This was just an absolute day for Union Pines wrestling and our surrounding (middle school) programs,” said Ragsdale. “Crain’s Creek and New Century middle schools started things off with a great match, which Crain’s Creek won 36-24 with each team taking three matches.
“I have to admit it was also nice to be back at home for this dual. We had been gone for a good while, and had a great turnout with it being Alumni Night. We also got a chance to recognize about seven former Viking wrestlers, who then hung out with the team during the meet.”
In what seemed to be a mere blink of an eye, the Vikings built a 24-0 lead in the league dual, as Philip Mondi, Brandon Berry, Taylor Walker and Chris Rubinosky all picked up first period pins for Union Pines. Danny Deardorff then won by way of forfeit to push the margin to 30-0.
Rubinosky improved to 22-4 on the season after earning the quick win via pin. The senior is currently the fifth-ranked 3A wrestler in the 135-pound division by retrorankings.com
“I was pumped up for this match,” said Rubinosky. “Today I came in three-pounds over, so I had to cut a lot of weight, but things went pretty good.”
Rubinosky recently finished third in his weight division at the Tiger Holiday Classic in Chapel Hill, and placed fifth at the prestigious WRAL invitational in Raleigh.
“I dropped some matches in those tournaments that I did not expect to lose,” Rubinosky said, “but I bounced back from that and went out there and tried to help my team get points. When we lost by three points to Mooresville (to finish second overall) at the Tiger Classic, in a way it was disappointing. But it also showed us just how hard we have to work to be at the top. So I feel like coming home tonight bouncing off to get pins the way we did was great.”
Union Pines’ margin swelled to 36-0 when sophomore Adrian Soto-Perez notched a first-period pin. The visiting Eagles then managed to get on the board by scoring back-to-back decision victories to make the score 36-6. However, Viking senior Jared Bartram delivered a quick first-period pin, which Kelvin Morrison followed with a major decision win to push the Viking advantage to 46-6.
A senior transfer from Jack Britt, Bartram entered the meet coming off a history- making performance at the Tiger Classic.
Both he and Deardorff won championships at the event, marking the first time in history Union Pines had a first place finisher at the tournament.
“It felt pretty good to win the Tiger,” said Bartram (21-3), who is the fourth-ranked 3A 171-pound wrestler. “I had been to the finals there before and my goal was to take first place this season. So it was nice to accomplish that my senior year.
“The guys have accepted me as a part of the U.P. family and this Viking team is a really good one. We are doing great so far. I am glad we are winning and we are expecting to be state dual champions this year.
“So far I feel like I am doing pretty well, from an individual standpoint this season. I lost a match I should not have, coming in early, but I am just going to keep coming back harder all season long.”
Along with Bartram and Rubinosky, Union Pines has eight wrestlers in its lineup ranked in the top six of their respective weight classes, including: Mondi (sixth 119-pounds, with a record of 22-8); Berry (third 125, 17-3); Deardorff (sixth 140, 21-3); Soto-Perez (fourth 145, 19-6); Brennan (second 160, 19-2) and Morrison (sixth 189, 13-6)
The Vikings host the Union Pines Duals Saturday at 8 a.m. in Cameron.
Contact F.W. Manning II at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UP 52 WH 22
103: Darrell Utt, UP, pinned Brennan Patton 1:59; 112: Sage Fisher, WH, maj. dec. over Billy Hornbaker 19-5; 119: Philip Mondi, UP, pinned Alec Matos 1:26; 125: Brandon Berry, UP, pinned Jeff Kelly 1:55 130: Taylor Walker, UP, pinned Amani Manning 0:37; 135: Chris Rubinosky, UP, pinned Cody Frizzelle 0:32; 140: Danny Deardorff, UP, won by forfeit; 145: Adrian Soto-Perez, UP, pinned Dakota Roberts 1:09; 152: Gerald Campbell, WH, dec. Koven H 6-4. 160: Paul Duggon, WH, dec. Michael Brennan 3-0; 171: Jared Bartram, UP, pinned Joshua Woods 1:05; 189: Kelvin Morrison, UP, maj. dec. over Desmond Campbell 10-2; 215: Zachary Poling, WH, pinned Josh Huskey 0:42; 285: Aaron Underwood, WH, pinned Josh McGowan 0:13
(pin times unofficial)
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